Fattoria di Petroio is an estate vineyard and winery just north of the city of Siena, midway between Castellina-in-Chianti and Siena in the hamlet of Quercegrossa in the the commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga in the Chianti Classico DOCG region of Tuscany. Petroio neighbours the Fonterutoli estate (to whom they sold 15ha of vine-plantable land).
Owners: The Lenzi family since 1961.
The name: Petroio derives from ‘pietra’ or stone, from which buildings in the area were constructed with. The stone was traditionally white washed every 2 to 3 years. The history of the settlement of Petroio goes back to the times of the ancient Romans as may still be seen in the ancient “opus reticulatum” wall incorporated into a farm house near the main cellar. The paved road that passes right in front of the main villa is a remnant of the ancient medieval road connecting Siena and Florence, which passed through the Chianti territory. It leads toward a small church dating back to the early 11th century and dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel. The Lenzi family currently leases the chapel from the Curia in Siena and helped complete its restoration. Once a year, on Ascension Day, a Mass is said that is open to all the people from the village, followed by a ‘Fiesta’ with buffet (which the owners prepare and serve) and traditional music and dancing on the old threshing floor in front of the wine cellars.
The Petroio estate has been in the Pallini family since circa 1886. The entire property was originally over 160 hectares of fields woods, vineyards and olive groves. The estate now occupies 100 hectares (Petroio sold some land to the neighbouring Castello di Fonterutoli estate which the latter subsequently planted with vineyards). The Lenzi family started restoring the estate in 1980 with the help of the now renowned consulting oenologist Carlo Ferrini, who at that time was working for the Consorzio del Chianti Classico, and as an inspector gave free advice to members. He remained with the Lenzis after leaving the Consorzio. The old family estate had 5,000 white vines so in 1983 Carlo had them hand-grafted to Sangiovese and Colorino vines; only four vines did not take! The Lenzi’s have always had great pride in their clones of the indigenous grape, Sangiovese, and have continued to resist planting international varietals. Vineyards |:15 hectares. 350 metres. Mainly Sangiovese, plus Colorino, Malvasia Nera, Canaiolo Nero, and Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Petroio estate: This is actually in the Quercegrossa locality (‘frazione’) of Castelnuovo, and was originally a Roman settlement. It has been in the Lenzi family since the 1800s, but it was only converted from farmland to vineyards in the 1980s and 1990s by Gian Luigi Lenzi and his wife Pamela Mangini Lenzi. She was born in Seattle to an Italian-American family. In 1965 she came to Florence to study. In 1980 she met Gian Luigi Lenzi, whose family is Sienese, and married. Gian Luigi pursued a career in medicine in Rome and became a professor of neurology. Pamela turned the estate from being a seller of grapes to a producer of wines, and was aided by Carlo Ferrini in his then role as technical director of the Chianti Classico consortium (‘consorzio’) and later as a freelance consultant. Pamela and Gian Luigi’s daughter Diana, who trained as a chef, is now in charge.
Vineyards, wine production: 15ha producing 40,000 bottles (Gambero Rosso: 2015).
Organic certification: 2015 was the first fully organic vintage.
Winemaking: 100% hand picked.
Chianti Classico DOCG, Fattoria di Petroio: 2015 90% Sangiovese, 10% Malvasia Nera, Colorino. 13.5%. Around 35,000 bottles. Lovely classic style (Chianti Classico Boot Camp 2018).
Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva, Fattoria di Petroio: Around 4,000 bottles. | 2008 80% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, 4% Malvasia Nera [sic]. £15-29.99. Exotic orange peel nose, this seems a little dried out. 14.5 Points. Bronze at DWWA 30th April 2013. | 2014 24 months in tonneaux. Lovely fluidity (Chianti Classico Boot Camp 2018).
Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva, Cru Montetondo:
Toscana Rosso IGT, Poggio al Mandorlo: 100% Sangiovese. Stainless steel (unoaked I think). Around 5,000 bottles.
Fattoria di Petroio
Loc. Quercegrossa, Via di Mocenni, 7
I-53019 Castelnuovo Berardenga (SI = Siena), Italy /Tel+39 0577 328045 / www.fattoriapetroio.it
Bill Nesto MW & Frances Di Savino, Chianti Classico, the Search for Tuscany’s Noblest Wine, (University of California Press, 2016), p230-231.
Chianti Classico Boot Camp 2018 (13 Sept), Certosa di Pontignano, Castelnuovo Berardenga.